Three Tips on How To Become A Thought Leader Using Social Media 

By Steve Hoag

how to become a thought leader using social media

Part of inbound marketing is about generating demand for content. Another important part of it is becoming a thought leader so that you retain that demand. Becoming a thought leader is a gradual process. It won’t happen overnight. But once you become one, you will start to see great dividends! Check out these three tips on how to get started using only social media:

Maintain a consistent presence

Consistency is key! One of the most important factors for staying top of mind is keeping a consistent presence online. Create a social media schedule with planned blog posts, tweets, etc, and stick to it! People have short term memories when it comes to social media. If you stop having an active presence, people will forget about you. Also, consistency and more posts equates to increased credibility. Over time, your high value content and steady presence will have a huge impact on you becoming a thought leader in your sphere of influence.

Always respond in a timely manner

Do you like it when you send someone a text and they don’t reply for a few days? You begin wondering if there’s something wrong with you, or maybe something happened to the other person. It gets especially awkward when you see them posting things on social media, but still haven’t replied to you. The same thing is true for people who comment on your posts, or mention you online! Never leave a potential customer or partner hanging. Every person you interact with should feel valued.

Be personable, and go the extra mile!

People like to post things on social media about companies going the extra mile for them. Anything from a handwritten birthday card at a hotel to a free replacement from your favorite company can make an immediate impact on brand perception. When it comes to social media, the same thing holds true. While you may not be giving out products, there are other ways of making customers feel appreciated. Make it a point to go through your newsfeeds on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc and congratulate people on new jobs, promotions, birthdays, etc. Thank them for posting great content. Not enough companies make it a point to connect with people on a personal level. Again, making people feel valued will elevate your brand to entirely new levels online.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Tuesday, January 7, 2014 7:15:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging enterprise SMB social media social media marketing web trends website

Blogging 101: A Crash Course 

By Steve Hoag

blogging 101

Creating a blog is one of the best ways to generate organic traffic to your website. It’s also useful for branding, becoming a thought leader, and being trusted by consumers. Many people get scared by the idea of having to write consistently, and think that they don’t have enough time or experience to do so. That is just ridiculous! As long as you don’t have a tenuous grasp on English, you can blog! Check out these tips on how to get started:

Figure out whether you need to use a third party blogging site or can implement a blog on your existing website.

This bit is extremely important. Does your existing business website have blogging functionality? If it does, great! You can start writing immediately. If it doesn’t you may need to choose a third party solution like WordPress and link to it from your site. Using a service like WordPress means you will have to set up a smaller second website, but this is fairly easy. They have a ton of templates, and are very affordable. Just make sure your branding matches up and you are good to go!

Create a manageable schedule.                                       

This varies from business to business. You need to figure out what works for YOU. If you can only blog once a week, than do that! Do whatever is comfortable for you. Once you start getting used to blogging you will be able to write more efficiently and produce content at a faster pace.

Make all your content shareable!

The point of blogging is to generate engagement with your customers. Make sure all your content is easily shareable via ‘Share This’ buttons. That way, users can share anything they like with various social media networks.

Share EVERYTHING on social media.

If you don’t have a business social media account yet, get one. Having a social media presence is pretty much mandatory for practically any industry at this point. People won’t know about all this great content you are creating if you don’t share it with your networks! Also, be sure to use a service like bit.ly so you can track click throughs on your articles. It will help a ton with regards to seeing which articles resonate with your target audience, and which don’t.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Friday, January 3, 2014 6:59:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C blogging enterprise retail marketing SEO SMB social media social media marketing web design web trends website

2014: Three Web Design Trends to Watch 

By Steve Hoag

web design trends to watch in 2014

2013 has been a great year for web design. New trends have emerged, and designers have created some truly innovative websites. If 2013 was any indication of the future, 2014 will be an even bigger year for web design. Keep your eyes peeled for these trends:

Huge hero areas

A hero area is the intro section at the top of a website. More often than not it contains a bit of text with a large image in the background. Many websites used to use sliders to showcase their website, but this is quickly changing. More and more websites are using these large hero areas to create a great, simple introduction to their business.

Less text more video

Video is becoming more and more popular on websites as computer power, bandwidth, and availability of video editing software increase. Embedding video can make any website dynamic, heighten click throughs, and increase visit times. It’s also great for educating users as an audiovisual substitute to reading paragraphs of copy. Many mainstream sites like YouTube also offer free tools to analyze views which helps make video a valuable marketing tool!

Mobile everything

Responsive design was optional for a lot of businesses in 2013. This next year is when it becomes a mandatory feature. The variety of devices used to access the Internet has grown significantly, which means that businesses will need to cater to them. Invest in a responsive design or you will get left behind! Websites will also take a more mobile friendly approach to the way they present information. Attention spans are getting shorter, and important information will be displayed in a short and sweet manner like on social media sites. Online information will be more easily digestible than ever before.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Monday, December 30, 2013 6:15:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise SMB web design web development web trends website

5 Red Flags to Look Out for When Outsourcing Web Development 

By Steve Hoag

outsourcing web development

Outsourcing web development work after your firm designs a website can be a great option if you want to save time and money. Outsourcing can increase your profit margins on a design project, and allow you to take on more clients at once. However, there are several key factors that should make you rethink your choice, and choose a different development firm:

Lack of experience in a particular CMS or technology needed for your project.

Every project is going to have different requirements. Clients may want a website to be built using a specific CMS or platform. You need to ensure that whichever development firm you are looking into has experience with that technology. Otherwise the entire process will be a trial by fire for all parties involved, and you could quite possibly lose a client.

They have a bad company website.

If a developer doesn’t have a good company website you need to move on to the next option. How are you supposed to trust them if they won’t invest any effort into their own company?

They don’t provide specific pricing, deliverables, and timetables for their work.

Regardless of what firm you are looking into, they should be able to provide clear cut pricing, deliverables, and timetables. If anything is left up to chance there could be delays, and your client could choose to take his business elsewhere. Also, unforeseen costs can drive business away as well. Everything should be clearly defined at the onset.

They aren’t proficient in English.

If you and your client operate in an English speaking company then by all means make sure your developers do as well. Clearly discuss with your client what sort of communication they need with the developers ahead of time so you know what language requirements to set. Miscommunication can be a deal killer in an industry where understanding what the client wants is so critical.

It takes too long to get a quote from them.

Move on if you present a development firm with a request to receive a quote and it takes them forever to respond. This is generally not a good indicator of timely communication on their part, and could spell trouble down the road. Not being interested in making a profit is their prerogative. You need to find someone who will respond promptly and efficiently to all communication.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Friday, December 27, 2013 5:57:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise SMB web design web development

Duplicating Online Content: Always A Bad Idea 

By Steve Hoag

duplicating online content

Copying online content is just as bad as plagiarism in books. You may not get in nearly as much legal trouble, but there are huge potential repercussions. The point is, you should never copy content. Look at other articles for inspiration, but hitting Control + C and Control + V is the laziest and most ineffective way to build traffic and sales. Here’s why:

Search engines will filter out websites that copy content.

Search engines will actively filter out search results that have duplicate content. This means being lazy and copying from other websites won’t help improve your visibility or traffic. It will help your competitor’s though.

The number of undifferentiated competitors and content will increase, making life more difficult for sales and marketing.

Imagine this: Every best-seller in the world was copied word for word by competing authors. How do people pick between authors if they know that the will just end up reading the same exact book? At random? If all other factors are kept the same it means each author has essentially the same probability of selling their book. This means lower sales for everybody. The same thing can happen when it comes to copying online content. Not having a unique take on a subject doesn’t give a consumer any more incentive to look at your site over other options. In turn, this can impact the sales and marketing team’s ability to create compelling reasons to purchase your products. Copying content removes differentiators, making the most exciting company extremely mundane, and a hard sell.

Dramatically lowers the use of search engines for everyone.

The whole point of search engines is to display the best array of information available on a given topic. This can include different points of view, writing styles, source types, etc. Duplicating content reduces the usefulness of search engines by reducing variety. A fully informed consumer is one that has access to all views and sources, not one that can only see 500 duplicate articles.

 

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Friday, December 27, 2013 12:37:00 AM Categories: B2B B2C blogging enterprise SEO SMB website
Page 24 of 33 << < 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 > >>